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Match Previews

LET'S GO: BOXING DAY PREVIEW

25 December 2013

All you need to know ahead of maiden trip to the Hive

WHO? Barnet, aka the Bees, formerly of Barnet but now of Canons Park, which is reliably described on Wikipedia as “an affluent residential suburb…situated in the north west London Borough of Harrow…located south of Stanmore, the west of Edgware and the east of Wealdstone”. They’re managed by a little known Dutchman called Edgar Davids.

WHAT? If you didn’t know, Barnet uprooted from their Underhill home in Barnet in the summer and moved to the Hive, a 5,100-capacity stadium. The Hive also is the Bees’ training base and the 44-acre site also includes further sport and conference and banqueting facilities. Want to know more? Check out this from the Barnet website.

HOW TO GET THERE. The trip to the Hive is just 23-and-a-half miles away from the Kenilworth Road main entrance and it’s pretty simple. Leave the M1 at junction four and take the A41 towards Edgware. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto the A410 towards Harrow and Stanmore. At the next small roundabout turn left at the Esso Garage/McDonalds towards Edgware. After passing through a set of traffic lights with the Masons Arms on one corner and then a Peugeot Garage on the left, at the next set of traffic lights turn right into Camrose Avenue. The entrance to the Hive is down this road on the right. The postcode for the ground is HA8 6AG.

OTHER MODES. The Bobbers Travel Club are running coaches to the Hive, too, and they depart the bottom of Oak Road at 12.30 and the fares are £16 for adults and £14 for concessions. Book your seat by calling 01234 856542.

SARDINES. If you haven’t got a ticket for the Boxing Day game don’t bother travelling. 1,700 Hatters fans snapped up tickets in little over a week and there’s no more left. Barnet’s average attendance this season is 1,781…

WE ARE UNBEATABLE. The Town will be defending an unbeaten record against the Bees…an unbeaten record of two games. The Hatters and Barnet met in 2008/09, the Town’s minus 30 campaign in League 2, in which Mick Harford’s side took four points off of the Bees. A 3-0 win over Barnet at Kenilworth Road was followed by a 1-1 draw at Underhill in late April, just a week before the Town’s relegation to the Conference was confirmed.

BUMPER BOXING DAY. 26th December has been very kind to the Hatters over past few years. The Town have lost just twice on Boxing Day stretching back to 1988. A 2-0 defeat at Everton in the top flight in 1987 has been followed by defeats to Sheffield United in 1990 and Colchester in 2006. The Town have lost one of their last 11 matches played on Boxing Day, winning six and drawing four. Barnet, meanwhile, are playing their first home game on 26th December since 2008. In 2007 they recorded a 3-1 home win over John Still’s Dagenham & Redbridge.

DRAW SPECIALISTS. Barnet have drawn nine league matches in the Skrill Premier this season, more than any other side in the division. The Bees have lost just once in 11 matches at their new home this term, winning five and drawing five. The sole defeat came against Macclesfield in late September.

BEES KNEES? Edgar Davis, the Bees’ player/boss – who also allocated himself squad number one – believes Barnet can reach the Play-Offs this term and his side lie in fifth place. The Bees have won five of their last eight league games after their 1-0 win over Hyde on Saturday.

KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU. John Still of course has managed both clubs. The Town manager was in charge of Barnet twice for two spells, between 1997-2000 and 2001 and 2002.

TEAM NEWS. Nothing new as the Town are concerned, a clean bill of health of those on recent duty. Barnet are without eight-goal top goalscorer Keanu Marsh-Brown who serves a one-match ban. Player/boss Edgar Davids is in contention for a return after serving a two-match ban.

WE’LL MEET AGAIN. Don’t forget both sides do battle again on New Year’s Day at Kenilworth Road. The fixture has been brought forward to a 12 noon kick-off and will be screened live on BT Sport. The Hatters haven’t won in seven televised fixtures.

LIVE & DIRECT. We’ll have all the news as it happens from the Hive. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it lutontown.co.uk, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook and Twitter feeds. And keep an eye on our Instagram, Vine and YouTube accounts too for good measure #COYH.


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